Rating:
9.0
Testament - The Formation Of Damnation
25 April 2008


Disc I
01. For The Glory Of...
02. More Than Meets The Eye
03. The Evil Has Landed
04. Formation Of Damnation
05. Dangers Of The Faithless
06. The Persecuted Won't Forget
07. Henchmen Ride
08. Killing Season
09. Afterlife
10. F.E.A.R.
11. Leave Me Forever

Disc II [Special Edition DVD]
+ The Making of "The Formation Of Damnation"
+ Photo Gallery


Nine years has passed since these legends of thrash metal last released a studio album, and so after an undeniably long wait Testament return in glorious form with "The Formation Of Damnation", picking up where "The Gathering" left off almost a century ago. The album has the Testament stamp all over it, this is thrash metal like Testament always deliver with both more melodic and modern elements as well as a slight peek back to how things were done in the late-eighties.

The theme of "The Formation Of Damnation" is solidarity and a very firm base, everything is very controlled at a steady pace and this theme can be traced through the duration of the entire album whether it be the steady opening galloper of "More Than Meets The Eye" or up-tempo tracks such as phenomenal "The Persecuted Won't Forget" or "F.E.A.R.". Testament explore the fruits of both new and old sounds and weave these into the sound the band achieved on "The Gathering" album to create the sound of "The Formation Of Damnation". Fruits of the new include an overall more full and melodic sound to the guitar riffs showing a slight tinge of the sound modern thrash bands crop up with these days, but also songs such as the previously mentioned "The Persecuted Won't Forget" go all-out with the double bass drums as fast as Testament has ever been before and frantic guitaring to keep up with the times.

The fruits of the old may be a little more prominent in this album as we have almost sing-along, stomp-along song "Dangers Of The Faithless" packed full of tune but also makes you want to bang your head or tap your foot at the same time, and also the immense title track of the album "The Formation Of Damnation" is just a slab of solid gold taken from the Testament of the old-school, with its stabbing guitar riff and solid, nicely paced snare bringing the thrash along to the party.

After nine years it would be somewhat of an anticlimax if "The Formation Of Damnation" did not deliver the goods, but not only does the album deliver the goods but it does it in such professional and elegant style showing every band Testament influenced just how to do it properly one more time. Aside from only one or two songs that never really get going, the album feels like a classic after the first fifteen minutes with each song contributing a part to the whole mix. "The Formation Of Damnation" is going to bring Testament back up to heights they once had and place them right at the top of the top of the thrash metal food chain once again. This is a more than successful return of old-school thrash metal with a modern spin, and it does exactly what it says on the tin; makes you want to thrash!


Band profile: Testament
Album: The Formation Of Damnation


 



Written on 22.04.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

Guest review by
Hermann Langke

Rating:
9.3
Testament is the biggest band to emerge form the second wave of thrash metal in the mid 80's and is also perhaps the only band from that wave still making superb music for its dedicated fans. Testament is the only band that I know that's still making convincing thrash metal not to mention that they are also a Semi-Death Metal band. I say so because they are perhaps the only band that I know (apart from Trivium) that combines death and thrash metal elements to near-perfect harmony(although Trivium are not yet that good at it).

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published 17.10.2009 | Comments (59)



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Clintagram - 22.04.2008 at 06:53  
Good review. I've listened to their album a bit since it's been up on their myspace and am liking it more than my previous listens. The only thing that I don't like much are Chuck Billy's vocals, which I usually really like. They sound, at least on the first real track, a bit too much like Randy Blythe for my tastes. Obviously, there is a distinction but I just get a feeling. Regardless the album sounds pretty good so far.
everonn - 22.04.2008 at 07:59  
Nice review, this album is a classic...Trash Metal at its best.

Marcel Hubregtse - 22.04.2008 at 11:09  
7 at most for me for this one. Proficiently played but nothing shocking, totally devoid of any feeling and soul. But then again what could someone expect from a band who ONLY released 1.5 good albums. Namely The Legacy and half the songs on The New Order.
The last Exodus, Death Angel, Machine Head albums were way superior to this.
jupitreas - 22.04.2008 at 17:29  
Boring album, I find nothing in it to keep me interested.
Charly546 - 23.04.2008 at 20:26  
Listened to it when it was on Myspace, repeatedly. I think it sucks. There are exactly 0 good riffs to be found. And even few decent solos and leads from Skolnick (I really expected better from him.) can't save this one.
Too bad, but then again Testament haven't released anything good since "The Legacy".
DrunkenFuck - 23.04.2008 at 20:56  
Definately getting it. Just got Practice What You Preach and absolutely love it. Especially the instrumentals and Envy Life.
blackthor - 23.04.2008 at 20:58  
Excellent album, you can hate or like this album. I'm in the second category. Very well crafted, it sounds as a whole, you have to listen all the songs to come with a conclusion. This band is evolving, so those of you nostalgic Testament fans will probably be disappointed, maybe it's time for you to look in the mirror and realize that you are not the same as yesterday, so let your music preferences evolve with you, don't make them prisoners of time.
Abattoir - 23.04.2008 at 21:38  
Well, I find this album as quite good...but not such a blast...I would rate it somewhere between 7 and 8.
Nazgal - 23.04.2008 at 22:49  
I heard a few songs of the album, and it's pretty good. Perhaps I'll buy the whole album. I'm getting curious now.
BreadGod - 24.04.2008 at 00:18  
Oh shit! Testament made a new album? Why didn't anyone tell me about this?!
BlueMobius - 24.04.2008 at 03:20  
I really like the album. Unlike some people, I think that it has some awesome songs, and it is very catchy too.
Metal George - 24.04.2008 at 08:02  
I really liked Testament's the Legacy, New World Order, Low, and The Ritual even though all Chuck sang were clean vocals. Demonic had some okay songs. I though The Gathering was good too, it had Dave Lombardo on drums! I only heard one track from the new album, but if it is as good as The Gathering then I am all for it.
BrightNight - 24.04.2008 at 11:32  
Very Good Review.

This Album is on the same level as The Gathering. Its really back to the old Testament roots. This really is one of the best albums released this year already! And im going for the best Trash album of the year. Very Heavy and Fast with lots of melodic solo's. Everyone Should listen the Whole Album...not just one or two songs and then judge because you simply cant.

Testament at its best with their old line up. They are back and Kicking all other bands away with ease. They are easely on the Trash Throne Again....as if they never left
Spyroid - 24.04.2008 at 19:08  
Testament > Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax, Death Angel, Machine Head, Annihalator...
andrejmy - 24.04.2008 at 20:46  
Fantastic album. Professional work. The top thrash metal production by highly experienced metal musicians, fantastic drumming and perfect vocal performance by Chuck. For me one of the leading metal bands these days. Only 10 points is possible here !!
Desertman - 24.04.2008 at 22:31  
cant waittttttttttt!!!
BrightNight - 25.04.2008 at 16:20  
Written by Guest on 24.04.2008 at 20:46

Fantastic album. Professional work. The top thrash metal production by highly experienced metal musicians, fantastic drumming and perfect vocal performance by Chuck. For me one of the leading metal bands these days. Only 10 points is possible here !!


You are totally right
Iced Angel - 27.04.2008 at 18:36  
This is my favorite testament album. It's just great ... yeaaaaaaaah
Harmonic - 27.04.2008 at 22:11  
If it sounds like The Gathering then I'm in. Haven't seen it in any music stores yet, though...
Iced Angel - 28.04.2008 at 03:07  
Written by Guest on 27.04.2008 at 22:11

If it sounds like The Gathering then I'm in. Haven't seen it in any music stores yet, though...

it's kind of hard to say which one sounds better ... they both are great albums
this one is more "head bang worthy" though lol
Harmonic - 28.04.2008 at 05:36  
Written by Iced Angel on 28.04.2008 at 03:07

Written by Guest on 27.04.2008 at 22:11

If it sounds like The Gathering then I'm in. Haven't seen it in any music stores yet, though...

it's kind of hard to say which one sounds better ... they both are great albums
this one is more "head bang worthy" though lol

Head bang worthy? Even better!

Dominus - 29.04.2008 at 04:15  
Great Album!
Lokomotiv - 29.04.2008 at 05:17  
I didn't listen to this album with high hopes, but I have to say that I was positively surprised... it's good to listen to good thrash albums in these years so poor for the genre.
Metal George - 29.04.2008 at 07:11  
Now that i have heard the title track i will get this album!
SlaytallicA - 30.04.2008 at 15:23  
Good review,this is a awesome album!
Slaytan - 01.05.2008 at 14:19  
10/10 album is AWESOMEE!!!!
Caveman - 02.05.2008 at 23:27  
A compact, powerful album. It's like Blackthor (see above) said, it sounds like a whole. Just love it.
dismaleuphony - 25.05.2008 at 08:40  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.04.2008 at 11:09

7 at most for me for this one. Proficiently played but nothing shocking, totally devoid of any feeling and soul.

I agree with you on this There isn't anything I hate about the new album - I just don't care about anything in it. I feel like I've heard everything before. I think of this new album as "inoffensive thrash metal," which is not a good thing really.
wooten - 27.05.2008 at 05:58  
I love this record all the way through. Great tunes, lyrics and melodies. Chuck's sounding better than ever too.
Harmonic - 27.05.2008 at 06:03  
Now that I've heard this album, I'll pass. It lacks the hard-driving intensity of Testament's better work. Age takes it toll yet again.
Demonmayonnaise - 09.06.2008 at 07:53  
I bought this the other day and Im pretty impressed. I dont think its the best thrash album of the year though. Check out Warbringers War Without End. THAT is the years best thrash album. IMO
Passenger - 28.06.2008 at 11:54  
Boring! I was actually more enthusiastic about The Gathering than I am about this new one.
Candlemass - 11.07.2008 at 20:25  
Cover and album art done by Israeli artist.
Album is what old Testament does, good songwriting, good riffs and tunes.
Alex is back, yet less memorable then before (seems like the fusion years has not done too good for him)
What's new but the production and blend of past elements (as Alex and sound)? not much at all...

The Gathering is there best release and still has possession of the title.
10 times more original, 10 times more ambitious and ultimately
better.

Review a little empty for me, alot of talking around the album and band history, too little of the music.

Anyhow, Testament are a classic, and they ROCK!
Elio - 16.08.2008 at 15:56  
nothing special, but at least they still play thrash...7-7.5
Dark Blood - 04.09.2008 at 14:14  
Just got the album recently.. so far so good. I like, but not enough to score with a 9. Good review!
thesabbathfan - 20.10.2008 at 04:27  
I fucken love this album... great review man

Although to me, this album seems like one 50 minute-long song with a few pauses that never gets old.
Toast - 21.10.2008 at 23:52  
Meh, I love Testament and all but this album definetly wasn't them at their top. It's still a really good listen though and id easily give it a 7.5 out of 10.
Nightbane - 22.11.2008 at 17:04  
The power of Testament my son.
amerislave - 22.12.2008 at 08:39  
I love this album. it is a perfect follow up to "the gathering", which i like a little more. there are definitely some more definitive leads from skolnick on this one, but i think "the gathering" is a touch more consistent.....barely though. chuck billy's vocals are the perfect fit for me personally.....the heaviest i know of without resorting over the top growling, grunting and arghing!!!!!! argh! great band, great review, great album..."the henchmen ride" is a song title that paints the perfect picture of the material on this album......and "the gathering" for that matter.
V8Thrasher - 01.01.2009 at 14:15  
Loved the album. the songs "The Formation of Damnation" and "Afterlife" remain a staple to my playlist.
terrorist - 01.03.2009 at 21:10  
This album rules among Thrash Metal!!!!!!!The Persecuted Won't Forget and Killing Seasion kick ass!!!!!
dickeya - 16.04.2009 at 08:00  
Just got this album off Amazon. The freakin' balls .....
mastellica - 05.05.2009 at 21:39  
I've just got the album and I like it a lot.
I Think Killing Season is the best song of the Album.
magatouve - 09.05.2009 at 01:44  
No chicks are interested in Testament I don't know why suddenly I became interested in gender issues in Metalstorm. Whatever... I listened to some songs live from this album when Testament opened for Judas Priest together with Megadeth in London... It was absolutely awesome.
Hermann Langke - 17.10.2009 at 18:34  
It deserved the title.
Judas The Priest - 26.10.2010 at 15:58  
Testament is so damn overlooked, and apprently because of business decisions, i thought they were basicly through when this album came out, instant metalgasm
Daniell - 26.10.2010 at 16:29  
At first I thought it was a good album. But after a few listens - it's the same old Testament. Lots of content, lack of things memorable. The album flies by, and leaves ZERO memorable riffs. Expertly crafted, but soulless.

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